Is CFD Trading For Me?

Is a contract for difference right for you? Different traders have different aims in the market, and some strategies require specific techniques and approaches, so it's difficult to answer this question definitively.

But what is CFD trading, and how does it work? Read on to learn more.

What is a CFD in trading?

A CFD stands for contracts for difference — a trading instrument popular among novice and experienced traders.

When you take out a CFD, you speculate on the market’s future. This means traders don’t need to take ownership of the asset to trade it. You simply enter into a contract that predicts future market movements.

Why trade CFDs?

CFD products have several distinct advantages over other traded markets, such as:

  • Low transaction costs
    The transaction costs for trading CFDs are among the lowest in all markets. They include the spread, commission and swap fees.
  • High leverage
    Traders can place large bids without coughing up the total upfront cost like you would with stocks. This gives traders greater market exposure.
  • Market volatility
    Traders generally gravitate towards higher volatility markets, as there are greater profit opportunities. This is why currencies are a popular choice for CFD trading. Market flows in currencies are much greater than in other markets, fuelling higher volatility on currency pairs.
  • An “always open” market
    CFDs are the only retail market open 24 hours a day, five days a week. This means the market can more readily digest news and events, and there are fewer “gaps” in trading — a significant difference between a closing and an opening price.
  • Automated trading
    CFDs are the only market where retail investors can use automatic trading strategies. This saves the trader a lot of time from watching the market intra-day.
CFDs vs stocks - How do they stack up?

CFD products have several distinct advantages over other traded markets, such as:

CFDs Stocks
Transaction costs Low Higher
Leverage High None or low
Volatility Often volatile Infrequent volatility
24-hour market Yes No, market closes
Automatic trading Available Not available
Deciding on a CFD trading strategy

Is CFD trading the right choice for you and your situation? This depends on your aims as a trader and your strategy.

Beginner traders

CFDs can be relatively straightforward, and their low investment requirements may make them attractive to beginner traders. However, while appearing simple, contracts for difference can be more complex than meets the eye, particularly futures, forwards and options that carry time parameters and transaction obligations. Even simpler spot trades are subject to market forces, and the market can move unexpectedly.

It is wise for beginners to grow their experience before risking capital on real live trades.

Share traders

Share traders can use CFDs to execute stock market positions without purchasing shares themselves. Share CFDs can be opened and closed quickly in the short term, providing potential profits quickly as long as the prediction is correct.

CFDs enable share traders to profit whether the market is moving upwards or downwards. Traders might not want to wait for a market upturn before they make a move and may prefer to speculate on a short position. They can do this with CFDs, as they specify the price difference.

However, share traders should keep the spread in mind when they open a position, as this is the price they need to pay to control the trade. The spread means traders lose some of their stakes the moment they open their position, but the market is so volatile that they can make this back and quickly turn a profit.

Forex Trader

For many Forex traders, CFDs have become a crucial access point to the foreign exchange market. No foreign currencies are exchanged — traders simply speculate on the market price changes they expect to see over time.

Traders can open a long or buying position if they expect the value to increase, or they can open a short position or a selling position if they expect the opposite. Combined with a highly liquid market, this flexibility is a key factor that attracts traders to forex CFDs.

As the forex market tends to be less volatile than the crypto market, the stock market or the indices market, forex traders may decide to maximise exposure by opening CFD positions with leverage.

Of course, traders can use CFDs in many other markets, including precious metal or oil trading.

Get started with CFD trading today - Sign up to TMGM
Sign up for your TMGM account today to get started. It only takes 3 minutes to create your account and begin trading!
Frequently asked question

To open your account and begin trading CFDs, you can simply use the button at the bottom of this page. From here, you'll need to input your name, email address and phone number and then submit a Captcha test to get started.

With a TMGM account, you'll be able to download the platforms and tools you need to trade on the forex market and in other trading environments. Once you gain more experience, you'll also be able to use leverage and enjoy a $100 minimum deposit and no hidden fees.

It is possible to make money when trading with CFDs via your TMGM account, though profits are not guaranteed.

However, you can use stop loss and take profit tools to protect your position, limiting your losses and keeping profits sustainable, but this does not mean there is no loss potential at all.
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